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Top Women golfers compete for the Garvey Reddan Trophy at Co. Louth


Maria Dunne (Skerries) led wire to wire to claim the 2017 Irish Women's Open Stroke Play Championship, and become the first recipient of the Garvey Reddan trophy. With a record opening 66 (-9) on Friday, Dunne took a one shot lead from playing partner Gemma Clews of England into the second round. The wind got up on Saturday and Baltray showed its teeth, both leaders struggled compared to their first rounds, carding 76 and 75 respectively. They headed into the final day all square on 8 under par but by the par 5 6th Clews had opened up a 2 shot lead. The 11th was a turning point however; Clews 3 putted for par while Dunne held a 10 foot put to get up and down for birdie. From then on Clews struggled on the greens and fell two shots behind Dunne alongside Lianna Bailey (England) by the 15th.

Two groups ahead, Sophie Lamb (England) was making a charge, having birdied the 16th and 18th to shoot 4 under and finish the tournament on – 7 she would hold the clubhouse lead and wait to see how the leader would fare on the closing holes. "I didn't start off very well, I bogeyed the first and missed a birdie chance on the short 2nd but I stayed patient and knew that with the wind direction there was some birdie chances on the back 9 and I rolled a few nice putts in on the closing holes."  

Dunne held her nerve, holing another 10 footer on 17 for par and rolling in from 8 foot for birdie on 18 to become 2017 Irish Open Stroke Play Champion. "I am absolutely delighted, it was nerve wrecking!  I just tried to focus on my own game and keep going one shot at a time, that's easy said but I really tried to stick to it today. Once I realised I was a couple of shots ahead of my playing partners I said to myself to just par the last 4 holes and don't worry what the others are doing. I managed to get a nice par on 18 which was a great way to wrap it up!"

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The Garvey Reddan Trophy
Co. Louth Golf Club has produced generations of elite golfers, none more so than Clarrie Reddan and Philomena Garvey. Renowned as some of Irish Golf’s most successful players, the Baltray natives were honoured at the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship, taking place at County Louth Golf Club on May 12th -14th.
Clarrie Reddan (nee Tiernan) was born in 1916 and boasted a career that included nine International appearances between 1935 and 1955, an Irish Ladies Close title, two Curtis Cup appearances and a runner up at the British Ladies Amateur Championship in 1949. Philomena Garvey, 10 years Clarrie’s junior, initially found interest in the game through her brothers and while caddying for Clarrie where it is said she had a terrific eye for green reading and excelled at club selection. In her own right, Philomena went on to complete a superb career in golf. British Ladies Amateur Champion in 1957 and winning the Irish Ladies Close Championship no less than 15 times, she was selected on every GB&I team for the biannual Curtis Cup from 1948 to 1960, however she famously withdrew from the 1958 team in protest to use of the Union Jack as a major part of the Team Crest. 
These two legends of Irish Golf have inspired many subsequent generations at County Louth Golf Club, which will become home of the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship – Clarrie Reddan and Philomena Garvey Trophy, for the next 5 years. “We are delighted to be able to honour Philomena and Clarrie at the Irish Women’s Stroke Play at County Louth, as two stalwarts of the game they are an inspiration to all competitors who will play for the Trophy come Friday morning and the next number of years,” said ILGU Chief Executive Sinead Heraty. 
 Dermot Gilleece, renowned golf writer, further elaborates on the Garvey/Reddan story in his Sunday Independent column.